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Healthy Holiday Food and Diet Tips

Try these 10 tips to reduce calories at holiday parties.

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If you want to offer pie, choose the healthier pumpkin pie. Make it with non-fat evaporated milk. Top it with fat-free whipped topping.

9. Spritz Your Drinks

Eggnog and other holiday beverages can add a huge number of calories. Offer your guests plenty of low-cal beverages such as diet soda, sparkling water, or a low-calorie punch.

Alcohol releases inhibitions and can increase hunger. So do yourself and guests a favor: Offer simple alcohol choices such as wine and beer without the heavy cocktail mixers.

10. Plan and Scan to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

“In anticipation that you will be eating and drinking more than usual, try to trim your calories and make sure you fit in fitness everyday so you can enjoy a ‘controlled’ feast without the guilt” says Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, clinical assistant professor, Boston University and American Dietetic Association spokeswoman.

“Scan the buffet and fill your plate with foods that are simply prepared, without sauces or fried, sit down and take your time to taste and savor every bite,” she says. Resist the urge to go back for more by waiting at least 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are comfortably full. If you are still hungry, eat more vegetables and drink water.

Remember, the holidays are marked with many traditions, but the real meaning is about spending time with family and friends.

If you keep these tips in mind, you'll get through the holidays without gaining a pound. And if you do splurge, don't beat yourself up, the experts say. Just get right back to normal eating and exercising, and try to do a better job at the next party.

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Reviewed on October 14, 2011

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